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Nikola Badger fuel-cell pickup would have relied nearly fully on GM

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The now-cancelled Nikola Badger hydrogen fuel-cell pickup truck was to be manufactured by Basic Motors with Nikola’s tech, however the latter had nearly nothing to do with the engineering of the truck, in accordance with testimony from a GM govt.

Scott Damman, a senior supervisor in GM’s software program division, was despatched to work with Nikola after the 2 firms drafted an settlement to collaborate on the Badger, in accordance with Automotive Information. He testified in opposition to Nikola founder Trevor Milton, who’s at the moment on trial for securities fraud, contradicting statements made by Milton in 2020 about Nikola’s contribution to the challenge.

“There have been no parts coming from Nikola,” Damman reportedly stated. “They owned the artistic design, what the automobile appeared and felt like, however the entire components had been to return from Basic Motors.”

Nikola Badger

Nikola Badger

That is at odds with Milton’s declare that the Badger was “in all probability 70% Nikola, 30% GM,” made in a September 2020 interview, the identical month GM introduced it will construct the pickup in alternate for funds and an 11% stake in Nikola.

The unique truck first teased in November 2019 featured social-media jabs on the Tesla Cybertruck and Elon Musk, and it received way more consideration than it in any other case would due to Milton. He took intention on the Cybertruck’s unorthodox design, and promised a spread of 600 miles for the Badger, utilizing a mixture of gas cells and batteries.

Nikola solely confirmed a rendering of the Badger, and that hadn’t modified in June 2020 when the corporate started taking $5,000 pre-orders. The tall discuss had already began round then, with Milton calling Nikola a BEV and fuel-cell chief, when it hadn’t but delivered any autos.

A reveal occasion for the Badger set for October 2020 was cancelled, as GM appeared to extricate itself from the partnership. Then in July 2021 Milton was charged with securities fraud for allegedly deceptive buyers in regards to the firm, together with false claims that the Badger was additional alongside in improvement than it truly was.

By October 2021, after the scandal with Milton broke, the Badger was reportedly prone to be dropped as a part of a “base plan” that returned the corporate to its unique give attention to business fuel-cell vehicles.

Nikola’s huge hydrogen refueling community that was presupposed to help the Badger together with its different vehicles hasn’t but materialized in anyplace near what Milton had been promising.

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